I am a firm believer that the MENTAL HEALTH benefits of exercise, and specifically NORDIC WALKING, are equally as important as the PHYSICAL BENEFITS.
Our relationship with nature – how much we notice, think about, and appreciate our natural surroundings – is a critical factor in supporting good mental health and preventing distress.
Nature is an important need for many and vital in keeping us emotionally, psychologically, and physically healthy.
When it comes to mental health benefits, nature has a very wide definition. It can mean green spaces such as parks, woodland, or forests as well as blue spaces like rivers, wetlands, beaches, or canals. It also includes trees on an urban street, private gardens, verges, and even indoor plants or window boxes. Surprisingly, even watching nature documentaries has been shown to be good for our mental health. This is great news as it means the mental health benefits of nature can be made available to nearly every one of us, no matter where we live.
Nature and our mental health
Nature is so central to our psychological and emotional health, that it’s almost impossible to realise good mental health for all without a greater connection to the natural world. For most of human history, we lived as part of nature. It is only in the last five generations that so many of us have lived and worked in a context that is largely separated from nature. And it is only since a 1960s study in the US found that patients who were treated in hospitals with a view of nature recovered faster, that science has started to unpack the extraordinary health benefits.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, try to do three things:
- Experience nature: take time to recognise and grow your connection with nature during the week. Take a moment to notice and celebrate nature in your daily life. You might be surprised by what you notice!
- Share nature: Take a photo, video, or sound recording and share the connections you’ve made during the week, to inspire others.
- Talk about nature: and encourage people to find new ways to connect with nature in our local environment.
Use these TOP TIPS from the Mental Health Organisation to help you build your own connection with nature.
Spending time in nature is good for us for lots of reasons. “Fresh air and exercise” has long been recommended as a way for many to feel better, physically and mentally. And that’s where we come in.
Not only does Nordic Walking with us give you a great way to stay physically fit through exercise, but we also focus on connecting with our surroundings with our Mindfulness walks and nature walks – whether it’s an early morning solstice walk or a late-night bat walk.
‘There is something to be wondered at in all of Nature’ – Aristotle